NH Sen Forrester asks Hassan to show how she would pay for pay raises

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Governor seeking $40 million in pay raises

(CONCORD) Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) today urged Governor Maggie Hassan to share how she plans to pay for the pay raises she proposes for state employees. Hassan and the State Employees Association are backing a new contract with annual 2% pay raises, following three raises over the past two years. 

“I am concerned about the Governor’s priorities.  To fill the hole she created with over-spending, she wants to raid $7 million from the nursing homes which is likely  to result in staff reductions or increasing taxes to the local communities.  On the heels of that theft of Medicaid dollars, Governor Hassan is now asking New Hampshire taxpayers to foot the bill for two more pay raises,” Forrester said. “How does she plan to pay for it?”

State employees have received three Cost-Of-Living-Adjustments over the past two years. Hassan’s proposed COLAs would result in a 10.4% increase in state salaries since Fiscal Year 2013. This would be on top of the annual step increases already built into the state contract. The past raises cost $10.6 million in FY14 and $33.1 million in FY15. Hassan’s proposed pay raises would increase state payroll spending by as much as $40 million in the next budget. 

“If Governor Hassan wants to give our state employees a fourth and fifth pay raise, she needs to tell us where she plans to cut spending elsewhere in the budget or what tax she plan to increase,” Forrester added.